Have your say on local history treasures

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Council is inviting all residents to explore some fascinating research material and have their say on the planning and delivery of history services over the next ten years via a community survey.

The local history service across the expanded Inner West Council contains a treasure trove of items of community interest and Council is looking for feedback on how it is stored and presented.

The Council correspondence files (former Marrickville, St Peters and Ashfield Councils) are the key treasures from the Council archives and considered to be an information gold mine for historians and researchers.

Community collections allow residents to explore the history of local community groups such as ‘Saving Dulwich Hill’, ‘Saving Ballast Point’, the Greek Community collection or the Italian Community Collection.

Many individual research items also tell a great story such as the mystery of the Annette Kellerman suitcase. This once discarded piece of property of the globally famous local swimmer was found on a pile of council clean up goods full of paper memorabilia capturing some of her career travel and exploits.

There is some much more cross collections including letters and postcards from the World War 1 battle fields, Marrickville Hospital silverware and nineteenth century photography collections of the local area.

Feedback from the community survey on the collections and other research will be used to develop a draft History Strategy which will be put on public exhibition for comment later this year. The strategy will be used to ensure Council’s History Service meets the needs of current and future users.

Council is also seeking community input on location options for the Inner West Council History Collections as a result of the 2016 amalgamation. Specifically, Council is considering whether to consolidate the Community History Collection and the historic Council Archives at one central location given there are currently six locations in which History and Heritage collections are held across the local government area.

These include: Ashfield Local History Collection at Ashfield Library; Ashfield Council Archives at Ashfield Service Centre; Balmain Community Archive at Balmain Town Hall; Leichhardt Local History Collections at Leichhardt Library; Marrickville Local History Collection at Marrickville Library and Marrickville Council Archives at Petersham Town Hall.

Once the History Strategy is finalised, the project will continue with the development of a Library Strategy.

If residents would like a survey mailed to them, they should phone Amie Zar, Community History and Heritage Coordinator on 9392 5817.

For more information and to complete the survey online, view https://www.yoursayinnerwest.com.au/historystrategy

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Page last updated: 08 Aug 2018